tiality. For in order to change, a thing must be acted upon, or actualized; change and potentiality presuppose, therefore, a being which is in actu. This actuality, if mixed with potentiality, presupposes another actuality, and so on, until we reach the Actus Purus. Thus the existence of movement (in scholastic terminology, motus, any change) points to the existence of a prime and immobile motor. Causality leads to the conception of God as the unproduced cause. Contingent beings require a necessary being. The limited perfection of creatures postulates the unlimited perfection of the Creator. The direction of various activities towards the realization of an order in the universe manifests a plan and a divine intelligence. When we endeavour to account ultimately for the series of phenomena in the world, it is necessary to place at the beginning of the series—if the series be conceived as finite in duration—or above the series—if it be conceived as eternal-a pure actuality without which no explanation is possible. Thus at one extreme of reality we find primary matter, a pure potentiality, without any specific perfection, and having, on this account, a certain infinity (of indetermination). It needs to be completed by a substantial form, but does not of itself, demand any one form rather than another. At the other extreme is God, pure actuality, wholly determined by the very fact that He is infinite in His perfection. Between these extremes are the realities of the world, with various degrees of potentiality and actuality.
So that God is not a becoming, as in some pantheistic systems, nor a being whose infinite potentiality is gradually unfolded or evolved. But He possesses at once all perfections. He is simultaneously all that He can be, infinitely real and infinitely perfect. What we conceive as His attributes or His operations, are really identical with His essence, and His essence includes essentially His existence. For all intelligences except His own, God is incomprehensible and indefinable. The nearest approach we can make to a definition is to call Him the Actus Purus. It is the name God gives to Himself: "I am who am", i.e., I am the fullness of being and of perfection.
Aristotle, esp. Metaphysics, Bk. XI (Berlin, ed. 1831); Physics, Bks. VII, VIII; St. Thomas, Comment. in lib. VII, VIII Physic, and in lib. XII Metaphysic. (XI of Berlin ed.); Summa theologica, esp. P. I. QQ. ii, iii, iv, etc., Contra Gent. L. I, c. xiii, xvi, etc.; Piat, Dieu et la nature d'après Aristotle in Revue neo-scholastique, VIII, 1901, p. 167 (reproduced in his book Aristotle, L, II, c., ii Paris, 1903); Watson, The Metaphysic of Aristotle, IV—The Divine Reason, in Philos. Rev. VII (1898), p. 341.
Acuas, one of the first to spread Manicheism in the Christian Orient. He was probably a Mesopotamian, and introduced the heresy into Eleutheropolis (Palestine). The Manichieans were sometimes called after him Acuanitæ. St. Epiphanius (Adv. Hær., lxvi, 1) calls him a veteranus, i.e. an ex-soldier of the empire, and fixes his propaganda in the fourth year of the reign of Aurelian (273).
Cowell, in Dict. of Christ. Biogr., I. 32.
Adalard, Saint, born c. 751; d. 2 January, 827. Bernard, son of Charles Martel and half-brother of Pepin, was his father, and Charlemagne his cousin-german. He received a good education in the Palatine School at the Court of Charlemagne, and while still very young was made Count of the Palace. At the age of twenty he entered the monastery at Corbie in Picardy. In order to be more secluded, he went to Monte Cassino, but was ordered by Charlemagne to return to Corbie, where he was elected abbot. At the same time Charlemagne made him prime minister to his son Pepin, King of Italy. When, in 814, Bernard, son of Pepin, aspired after the imperial crown, Louis le Debonnaire suspected Adalard of being in sympathy with Bernard and banished him to Hermoutier, the modern Noirmoutier, on the island of the same name. After seven years Louis le Debonnaire saw his mistake and made Adalard one of his chief advisers. In 822 Adalard and his brother Wala founded the monastery of (New) Corvey in Westphalia. Adalard is honoured as patron of many churches and towns in France and along the lower Rhine.
Butler, Lives of the Saints; Baring-Gould, Lives of the Saints (London, 1877); Lechner, Martyrolog. des Benediktiner-Ordens (Augsburg, 1855); Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen (6th ed., Berlin, 1893), I, 250–252; Enck, De S. Adalhardo (Münster, 1873); Ram, Hagiogr. Belge (1864), I, 16–31.
Adalbero of Montreuil. See Albero de Montreuil.
Adalbert, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, b. about 1000; d. 1072 at Goslar; son of Count Friedrich von Goseck, and Agnes of the lineage of the Weimar Counts. He became successively canon in Halberstadt; subdeacon to the Archbishop of Hamburg (1032); Provost of the Halberstadt Cathedral; and Archbishop of Hamburg (1043 or 1045) by royal appointment, with supremacy over the Scandinavian Peninsula and a great part of the Wend lands, in addition to the territory north of the Elbe. He is probably the Adalbert mentioned as the Chancellor for Italy under Henry III in 1045. At the very outset of his episcopal career he took up the old feud of Hamburg with the Billings, in which he had the cooperation of Henry III. Having accompanied the Emperor on a campaign against the Liutzi (1045), he also journeyed with him to Rome (1046). Upon the settlement of the papal schism Henry wished to make Adalbert Pope, but he refused, and presented his friend Suidger (Clement II) as a candidate. He cooperated in the conversion of the Wends, and three new bishoprics were erected, all subject to Hamburg. Adalbert then conceived the idea of a great northern patriarchate, with its seat at Hamburg, but was constantly foiled. The Kings of Norway and Sweden began to send their bishops to England for consecration, and Sven Estrithson, King of Denmark, appealed to Henry and Pope Leo IX for an archbishop of his own, which would mean a loss to Hamburg of lands just yielding fruits after two hundred years of evangelization. The assent of Adalbert was necessary for such a decision, which he promised to ratify only on condition that his dream of a northern patriarchate be realized. The whole discussion was cut short by the death of both Pope (1054) and Emperor (1056).
During the regency of Empress Agnes, Adalbert lost his hold on the court, and the young Emperor, Henry IV, fell under the influence of Anno, Archbishop of Cologne. Despite the ancient feud between Hamburg and Cologne, Adalbert gained control of Henry's education, eventually superseding Anno in his confidence and esteem. In extenuation of Adalbert's eagerness to obtain privileges for his archdiocese it must be recalled that he had sacrificed much in the royal service, and that his influence was ever for the more open and straightforward course of action, in contradistinction to that of the opposition party. His flattery and indulgence of Henry, however, were baneful in their effects. Forced to retire from court in 1066, by the jealousy of the nobles, he was again admitted to Henry's councils in 1069. His ascendency over the Emperor ended only with his death (1072). Archbishop Adalbert is characterized by Adam of Bremen as minax vultu et habitu verborumque altitudine suspectus audientibus. Generous, prudent, and zealous as he was, his character was marred by indomitable pride, which has caused him to be depicted in the blackest colours.